Law banning Manitobans from growing cannabis challenged in court

The law that bans Manitobans from growing their own cannabis, despite the fact that it is allowed in other provinces, is being challenged in court.

The federal law allows Canadians to grow up to four marijuana plants per residence for personal use. However, Manitobans are not permitted to do this under provincial law.

Manitoba and Quebec are the only provinces where growing your own cannabis is forbidden.

“The province is exercising criminal law, which it’s not entitled to do,” said cannabis lawyer Jack Lloyd on Monday.

Lawyers for Jesse Lavoie, a business owner and cannabis activist, are challenging the constitutionality of Manitoba’s law, saying the province is treading on federal jurisdiction.

“If you want to put it bluntly, our argument is that the province failed to stay in its lane jurisdictionally when it decided to basically recriminalize the personal production of up to four plants in your residence,” said lawyer Kirk Tousaw on Monday.

He added that from a legal perspective it’s important for the different levels of jurisdiction to be respected.

“The practical importance is people who live in Manitoba should be allowed to grow cannabis for their own personal use,” he said. “It shouldn’t be a crime. It’s not dangerous. It’s not putting anyone in harm’s way.”

The trial is now finished and the lawyers are waiting for the judge’s ruling.

CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to the province for comment.